Grants to expand mental health services in schools

Sixty-four school districts, including La Crosse and Onalaska, and consortiums are sharing $3.25 million in state grant funding to provide school-based mental health services.

According to a news release, the new grant program attracted proposals from 141 applicants, representing 182 school districts and charter schools.

“In a given year, one in five students faces a mental health issue, with more than 80 percent of incidents going untreated. Those students who do get help, more often than not, receive it through their school,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “This grant is a good start toward student mental health needs. But, we absolutely must do more to address student mental health so our kids have the support they need to be successful in school and eventually their communities.”

Grant funds may be used for a variety of services from universal wellness activities for an entire school to intensive intervention for students in crisis. Grant proposals included activities to

–develop and support student and staff social and emotional wellness,

–increase staff capacity to create trauma sensitive environments,

— provide training to staff and students to recognize mental health challenges and know how to advocate for themselves and others,

— provide student support groups led by school and community mental health providers,

— develop referral processes to ensure students who need additional support are referred to qualified providers,

— create spaces in schools for community mental health providers to work with students, and

— provide guidance to students and families to access multiple systems and supports.

The complete list of school is below: